Exchange Backup Frequently Asked Questions

Exchange Backup Frequently Asked Questions 

Can Backup Vault be used to back up Microsoft Exchange?

Yes, Attix5 Pro can back up Microsoft Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013 to BackupVault. Older versions of Exchange are no longer supported.

How does the backup work?

The Attix5 Pro Server Edition Client uses the VSS plug-ins to facilitate Exchange backups.

The VSS plug-in uses Microsoft’s VSS technology to snapshot the running Exchange databases. It does not write a “dump” copy to the local disk, so takes up less disk space than the now deprecated MS Exchange plugin.

If “Staged” backup is being used, disk space will still be required in the cache for either a full compressed copy or delta footprint file.

V7.0 introduced Streaming Backup, which removes the need for full compressed copies locally, saving further disk space, and faster compression techniques overall.

I would like to restore a mail item or mailbox. How can I go about this?

The VSS plugin does not provide built in item recovery from Exchange databases within the application itself.

Databases must be recovered to disk, or can be accessed using Virtual Restore. The Exchange Shell can be used to mount up a Recovery Database. It can then be used to recover mailboxes, and items from the mailboxes.

Please see “Recovering Exchange Mailboxes and Items” below for the steps to achieve this.

Are Database Availability Groups supported for Exchange 2010?

Yes, please see the Plug-ins User Manual for details.

Exchange uses transaction logs. Does Attix5 truncate these?

The VSS plug-in only truncates logs if set to “Full”, and will do so when the transfer completes. It will not truncate if “Copy” is set.

Are there any other options that I should set when backing up Microsoft Exchange?

Unless your database is very small, or your bandwidth very constrained, Delta Blocking should be enabled for Exchange database files (either by size or *.edb extension). Delta Blocking will send larger patches, but processes changes approximately seven times faster than Binary Patching.

If your disk space is constrained it is recommended to enable Streaming Backup.

Recovering Exchange Mailboxes and Items

The following steps explain how to create a Recovery Database and restore a Mailbox from this.

It is strongly advised to familiarise yourself with Exchange Shell commands before proceeding.

The Exchange Shell is documented on Microsoft Technet here:

Configuration Steps

  • Using Exchange Management Shell, create the recovery database on your local storage, using a database name to match the original DB. If you are unsure of the name, it can be found in the restore tree.

For example:

"New-MailboxDatabase -Recovery -Name RecoverDB -Server ACMEEXCH1 -EdbFilePath "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Mailbox\RecoverDB\ACME Database One.edb" -LogFolderPath "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Mailbox\RecoverDB"


  • Restore data to the path using Attix5 Pro SE or Virtual Restore. Make sure that you do not dismount Exchange as part of recovery or replay transaction logs if using Attix5 Pro SE.
  • Using command prompt, go to the recovery DB folder. Use the command “eseutil /mh <database file name.edb>”. For example:

Eseutil /mh "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Mailbox\RecoverDB\ACME Database One.edb”

  • In the diagnostic output, the database “State” will be reported. If this shows “Dirty Shutdown” it is necessary to recover the database. The command "eseutil /r <baselogfilename> /d <database path> /l <log file path> /i" to clean up the dismount status. For example:

Eseutil /r E00 /d “C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Mailbox\RecoverDB\” /I "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Mailbox\RecoverDB" /i


 "eseutil /p <database file name.edb>" (hard repair) may also be required.

  • Using Exchange Management Shell, mount the database using the following command.

Mount-Database <RecoveryDatabaseName>

For example:

Mount-Database RecoverDB

  • When the database is mounted, continue using Exchange Management Shell, and check that the mailbox is present in the database.

Run "Get-MailboxStatistics -Database <RecoveryDatabaseName>"

For Example:

Get-MailboxStatistics -Database RecoverDB

  •  You should be shown a list of mailboxes. You can now recovery the mailbox itself using the command:

"Restore-Mailbox -RecoveryMailbox <mailbox name> -Identity <mailbox name> -RecoveryDatabase <Recovery Datbase name> -TargetFolder <recoveryfoldername>"

For example:

"Restore-Mailbox -RecoveryMailbox Administrator -Identity Administrator -RecoveryDatabase RecoverDB -TargetFolder "Restored""

  • This command will restore the mailbox, putting all the items in a folder called "Restored". They can then be moved to the original folder or elsewhere from here.